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‘Free’ Pizza challenge stirs Domino’s India

22-June-2004
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‘Free’ Pizza challenge stirs Domino’s India

Domino’s Pizza India’s aggressive campaign around its delivery promise of pizza ‘in less than 30 minutes or Free’ has stirred the organisation from within besides boosting summer sales by 15 per cent. In the last six weeks —since the company tossed the ‘free’ challenge—Domino’s has been made to part with over 10,000 free pizzas for no money.

‘‘But,’’ points out company head Arvind Nair, ‘‘with each passing week this ‘free’ number is coming down as we plug in bottlenecks, strengthen our outlets with more resources, and enhance in-store efficiency.’’

Mr Nair adds: ‘‘The incidence of free pizza came down by 30 per cent in the fifth week.’’

The free-pizza campaign allowed the company to identify 20 of its countrywide network of 90 outlets where it needed to provide more inputs— in terms of more telephones, computers, people, ovens, bikes and planning (to prepare for the peak hours).’’

New Toppings

• Over 10,000 pizzas given free in 6 weeks

• This forced the company to strengthen 20 locations

• Achieved break-even in 2003-04

• Imports came down to 20 per cent from 40 per cent in ’01

• Distribution efficiency up 8 per cent

‘‘Only one outlet needed an additional oven,’’ says Mr Nair. A typical Domino’s outlet has two-four ovens with each oven costing Rs 20 lakh.

Domino’s India’s around 1,800 employees across two dozen towns have been preparing for the free-pizza norm since mid-2001. The free-pizza plan replaces its earlier delivery promise of pizza ‘‘in less than 30 minutes or Rs 30 off.’’

The free-pizza challenge is said to have been embraced in over half of the $4.5-billion Domino’s Pizza’s presence in 68 countries so far. What prompted the Indian arm to bite this challenge was the recent recognition within the Domino’s global order: In terms of outlets, Domino’s India is among the top 20 countries while in terms of operational efficiency it is ranked among the top three.

With the challenge of ‘free pizza’ internalised, Domino’s India is now aiming to maintain a double-digit revenue growth in 2004-05.

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